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Most ‘young millennials’ engage in risky driving, study finds

woman driving a car

Photo: Halfpoint/iStockphoto

Aurora, IL – Almost 9 out of 10 “young millennials” between the ages of 19 and 24 engage in at least one risky driving behavior, such as speeding, running red lights or texting, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Researchers analyzed data from 2,511 licensed drivers ages 16 and older who reported the driving behaviors they had engaged in during the previous 30 days. The percentage of drivers, by age group, who admitted to speeding, running red lights or texting were:

  • 16-18 years old: 69 percent
  • 19-24: 88 percent
  • 25-39: 79 percent
  • 40-59: 75 percent
  • 60-74: 67 percent
  • 75 and older: 69 percent

Texting while driving is particularly troublesome among younger people: 66 percent of drivers ages 19-24 admitted to reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days, compared with 40 percent of all drivers. Meanwhile, 59 percent of young millennials said they sent a message from their phone, compared with 31 percent of all drivers.

“Alarmingly, some of the drivers ages 19-24 believe that their dangerous driving behavior is acceptable,” David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a press release. “It’s critical that these drivers understand the potentially deadly consequences of engaging in these types of behaviors and that they change their behavior and attitudes in order to reverse the growing number of fatalities on U.S. roads.”

The survey follows recent findings that traffic fatalities increased more than 7 percent to 35,092 in 2015. The 7 percent increase marked the largest single-year spike in five decades.

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